The Candolini: Ducati 900SS Café Racer

Ducati 900SS Cafe Racer

The Ducati SuperSport (SS) debuted in 1988, a series of air-cooled 90° V-twin motorcycles that would remain in production for nearly 20 years. None other than the gonzo journalist himself, Hunter S. Thompson, reviewed the Ducati 900SS for Cycle World in 1995:

“There are some things nobody needs in this world, and a bright-red, hunch-back, warp-speed 900cc cafe racer is one of them – but I want one anyway, and on some days I actually believe I need one. That is why they are dangerous.”

Ducati 900SS Cafe Racer

Enter Anthony “Ant” Serradura of Adelaide, Australia, who imprinted early on the raw, desmodromic spender of Ducati machinery:

“From the first time I heard the crisp detonation of a Ducati twin at the age of 8… I can only ever remember being drawn to the spirit and freedom of motorcycling.”

When his parents told him he would never own a motorcycle, the deal was sealed: his first set of wheels was a Yamaha DR185, bought and stored in secrecy at the home of a friend. Fast forward to present day, and Ant wanted to build a lightweight, minimalist café racer inspired by the Paul Smart racers of the 1970s. A fuel-injected 2000 Ducati 900SS seemed the perfect candidate…

“…offering that raw Frankenstein mechanical look.”

Ducati 900SS Cafe Racer
The donor bike

Along the way, Ant managed to shave 38 kilograms (84 pounds) from the bike’s curb weight (!) and pull a few more ponies out of the engine, transforming this 900SS into “The Candolini.” Below, we get the full story on this Italian-made, Aussie-built street weapon.

Ducati Café Racer: Builder Interview

Ducati 900SS Cafe Racer

• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.

Been a big bike fan since I can remember — the only one in the family. From the first time I heard the crisp detonation of a Ducati twin at the age of 8, looked up in awe at the big Honda tourers, and gazed at motorcycle racing to only wish… I can only ever remember being drawn to the spirit and freedom of motorcycling.

The parental words of you’ll never own a motorcycle sealed the deal — my first motorcycle, a Yamaha DR185, was purchased in secrecy and stored at a mate’s house. From here I never looked back. I’ve had a go at all sorts, never been brilliant at any of it, but had a ball along the way — on-road, off-road, touring & travelling.

Ducati 900SS Cafe Racer

• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?

2000 Ducati 900SS. Last of the air-cooled & first of the fuel-injected.

• Why was this bike built?

I was looking for a bike-build project and have always liked the personal expression of the Café Racer format.

The donor bike was selected for its ability to promote the right lines for intended minimal bodywork while offering that raw Frankenstein mechanical look.

Ducati 900SS Cafe Racer

• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?

All things Café Racer. I don’t necessarily have to like it to appreciate it. Some of my favorite builds are by New York builder Walt Seigl.

• What custom work was done to the bike?

Bikini fairing, screen and tail were sourced from Airtech USA & Gustaffen, tank was made in the UK – with all modifications competed in Australia – all of this was inspired by the Paul Smart racing look of the 70’s. Frame mods and custom sub-frame work and hand-rolled exhaust by Grumpy Terry at Redline exhausts. The bike is now an amazing 38kg lighter than it original spec.

Ducati 900SS Cafe Racer

• Does the bike have a nickname?

The Candolini.

• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?

In hindsight, too much attention was paid the aesthetics during the build. Which is why the ride experience was a huge surprise – snug ride position, lighter, better acceleration and a beautiful note.

Ducati 900SS Cafe Racer

• Any links to include, website, etc.?

Nah – just me. A fuckaller in his shed just playin’ with bikes.

4 Comments

  1. cool idea: upper body only.

  2. Love it

  3. Was it laid down on the left side? Beautiful bike- let’s see all of it.

  4. Chris Howe

    Very cool. I have similar plans for my 900SS. I particularly like the tank, would like to know how much modification was needed.

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